Pasta with olive oil, lemon, and vegetables

Pasta with olive oil, lemon, and vegetables

Pasta does not always have to be smothered with sauce. It can be light and appealing to the eye.

This dish is quick and easy to make, especially if you use frozen vegetables. Any combination of vegetables will do, as long as they provide flavor and color. I used a vegetable medley of broccoli, cauliflower, orange and yellow carrots for this.


Serves four

One pound penne, rigatoni, farafalle, small shells, or other shaped pasta.

One pound vegetables- colorful variety cut in bite sized pieces.

3/4 cup Olive oil

1-2 cloves of garlic smashed

1-2 bay leaves

Juice of one lemon- do not use bottled juice.

Grated zest from lemon (Optional)

2 tbsp. Capers



If vegetables are frozen thaw at room temperature ahead of time.

Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente.

While pasta is cooking blanch vegetables in salted water for two minutes. Remove from water and set aside.

Place garlic, bay leaf, olive oil, and lemon juice in a pan over medium heat. When garlic starts to brown, remove pan from heat. Remove garlic and bay leaf.

Before draining pasta, reserve one cup of the liquid.

Place drained pasta in a mixing bowl.

Add vegetables and capers. Add oil and lemon mixture, lemon zest (if using) and mix gently. If pasta is dry or sticking together add some of the cooking liquid- 1/4 cup at a time until moistened.

Serve immediately topped with grated or shaved Parmesan, Grana Padano, or Romano.

You can garnish with chopped fresh basil or parsley for more flavor and color.

For added sharpness, sprinkle with finely minced shallots or fresh chives.

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    Peter Bella

    Retired Chicago Police Officer and freelance photographer, who loves to cook.


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